It's a subject we women talk about nearly 90% of the time. Yes, more than we talk about our children, our husbands, our shoes, and our moms.
More specifically, body image. I clarify, because I really have no particular issue with my weight NUMBER. I will tell you. I weigh 155 pounds. There. I said it. And, yes, I am 5'10" tall. So, no, my actual WEIGHT is not a problem. The problem comes when you consider distribution.
Distribution is a problem in many facets of our life. When four lanes of traffic are trying to merge into one, you have a distribution problem. When 100 people are leaving a movie theater with two doors, there is a distribution problem. When there is still plenty of toothpaste in the tube, but it still takes you a full minute to get to it, distribution. When you roll to the middle to cuddle with your sweetie, and you have to roll up a "hill" where neither of you regularly occupy the mattress, distribution.
When you are still trying to fit into your size 8 jeans when your butt belongs in a 12 or 14, for me, distribution. My ankles? Still the same size. My wrists? Still the same. Feet? Same. Length? Same. But, well, my butt, my gutt, my hips, and my back...they are the only areas on my frame that fluctuate in volume.
Oh, to be tall, you say. Oh, to be so skinny, you say. Well, yes, I am tall. And, I must admit, it does help camouflage the middle section. And, I do have some freaky skinny fingers, arms, ankles, toes, and shoulders. Thank you, God. Seriously, I'm thankful. But, how many times have I wondered how I would look if I could squeeze the fat in my butt and back into those skinny appendages and even it all out? Probably a kadrillion.
When Charlie and I met online, we talked a bunch, exchanged a ton of JPEGS (photos for those of you who are not quite as geeky as me), and we both imagined meeting each other in person. What does this person REALLY look like? Then, when we met (in March - thank God for jean and sweater season!) I asked Charlie what about me surprised him the most. His answer: my "spaghetti arms." Really. (To be pronounced as they do on SNL's weekend update.) REAAAllleee?!?!?
The conversation went on to him very thankfully approving of, even being attracted to, my body. This led to my feeling the need to give him a very clear, concise disclaimer: "Objects in tight fitting jeans may not be in reality as they appear." I explained to him that as a marketing person, it's all about packaging. Let's face it, french fries in a little white paper envelope with yellow arches on them, look better than those that come out of your oven. A sundae with a cherry on top looks better than a cup of icecream. Manure when it is ground up and added to some topsoil looks better than the turd your neighbor's dog left in your yard. You get the point - and so did he....on our first diving trip that involved me in a BATHING SUIT! I can't tell you how many times I felt the need to remind him that I had pushed two humans through this frame!
All that's to say, I'm really kind of bumming lately about my weight. When Randy left, I couldn't eat for weeks. I could not make myself eat. It was wonderful. I know. Very unhealthy, but dang! I got sooooo skinny! I went from 159 pounds to 129 pounds in two months. I know. VERY unhealthy. But, oh man. I had not worn a size 8, and sometimes a size 6, since high school! That summer I was in 14-16's! I had no idea how big I had gotten until I started losing it. To be honest, the few weeks of not eating was only responsible for about 10 of those pounds. To deal with stress, I walked. I walked and talked to God for hours every single day. The girls were in school, I was job hunting, and walking, and praying. I ate healthy for a change. And, instead of drinking Cokes all day...water.
I'm rambling now. I'll get to my current state. Post-baby. Ugh. I'm so friggin' tired all the time, I'm craving sugar, which is making me crash, then crave more. I'm lucky to get a shower, so I feel to exercise first would be a luxury that is completely selfish given that the laundry is not done and there are rings in my toilets. Not getting that daily Bible time in. Not to mention my photo-biz. But, I also feel like I might have inadvertently done the ol' bait-n-switch on Charlie. He married this cute little size 8. And, now...size 12. Not so bad, but there is a whole closet full of 8's I just can't seem to part with. I did give some jeans away. And, some shirts. But, I'm hanging on to the nice stuff. I still have a pile of jeans that have no business being in my closet anymore.
So, what do I do? What is the most important thing? What gets dropped off the list? Nothing seems negotiable right now. I can starve myself, and make my family hate me, and be a bad example of self-esteem to my girls. I can just live with the new me. I can have surgery (seriously considering a tummy-tuck - another blog for another day.) It just seems like there are so many demands on women these days to be everything. None spoken. We put it all on ourselves. I'm sure Charlie is more than happy with me just as I am. But, there is that voice in my head that says, Or is he just being nice?
We all talk about it all day long - about all the things about our bodies we do not like. What is the RIGHT thing to do? I really would like to talk to Jesus in person about this one. Are we all running around obsessed with our bodies to the detriment of our relationship with Him? Probably. I am at a total loss and would appreciate any of your thoughts, opinions, suggestions. Note: I am not in any way asking for anyone of you to complement me or make me feel better in any way. Nor, am I insinuating that there is ANYTHING wrong with a size 12. There was a point in my life that I jumped up and down to be a 12. It's just that right now, in my "season" of life, I feel icky and unhealthy. You are all beautiful just as you are. And, that's the truth!
With a boat-load of love,